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Multi-Story Self Storage Construction Costs

Answering the Multi-Story Self Construction Cost Question

We’ve had a number of questions about multi-story self-storage construction costs recently. Multi-story self storage facilities are often located in more densely populated areas and therefore can often demand a higher rental rate. Multi-story facilities also often have climate controlled units which bring in additional revenue. And because the time and effort to construct a multi-story development is roughly the same as developing a single story, investors make the most out of their property's footprint.

While building self-storage structures is one of the most straightforward types of commercial real estate, it is a market that has undergone a transformation in recent years in terms of design and zoning. It is imprortant to fully understand the market and how to develop the property to maximize your investment.

As with any construction project, there are many variables that will impact the costs but below are some general guidelines that will help you to estimate the cost of your multi-story self storage construction project.

multi-story self storage construction

There are two key drivers in the early stages of planning that will dictate how much it will cost to build your multi-story self storage facility. 

1.  The first is cost versus demand.  Do you plan to build in a market that supports multi-story self storage or is it a market where drive-up single story units are more prevalent? Are you building in an area that needs climate controlled units? Is there demand for electricity in the units? Should you include self storage structures for RVs, boats or cars?

2. The second is the cost associated with getting site plans and building permits approved by your city’s planning agencies. These agencies often have specific landscaping and aesthetic requirements that will affect your building cost. Find out how to navigate the permit process and avoid being denied a self-storage building permit.


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In the engineering and construction phase, the cost increases tend to come from aesthetic considerations, mistakes made in the pre-planning stage and off-site improvements.

MakoRabco has been involved in the construction of thousands of two- and three-story self storage buildings, so it is not hard to quantify the average cost of the vertical construction. Approximately 25 percent of the building’s square footage will be non-rentable space, such as entry ways, corridors, stairwells and elevators. The actual construction, framing and building numbers tend to fluctuate far less than the other dynamics of a self-storage construction project. 

For the structural engineering, steel framing, siding, roofing, partitions, insulation, roll-up doors and corridor systems as well as labor to install, we can estimate costs to be between $11-$15 per square foot. Utilizing standard steel corrugated siding for the exterior would put your project at the lower range. If your self storage project requires insulated or pre-textured wall panels such as API or Kingspan, you will need to estimate at the higher range.

The range for turnkey construction, including the slab, landscaping, office T.I and off-site improvements, has been between $42-$70 psf. This is obviously quite a range. Give us a call, we would like to know more about your particular self storage project so we can help you more accurately budget.

If you are looking at a particular site for your project, let us know.  We have one of the industry’s most talented draftsmen at our disposal to assist with concept site planning.  It is a service we provide to all of our customers at no cost and would be happy to work with you on your self-storage project.   

Low Cost Site Design Services

MakoRabco designs, supplies, and installs self-storage structures nationwide. Utilizing our team of experts, we assist with our customers with concept design and layout.  We also provide expert structural engineering services in addition to providing and installing a wide variety of building materials for vertical self-storage construction.